Yesterday, Friday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken urged Israel to complete and end its investigation into the killing of Al-Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh and to announce the results, while Al-Jazeera announced that the file had been submitted to the International Criminal Court.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement that Blinken stressed, during a phone call with his Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, the importance of “completing the investigations into the killing of Palestinian-American Shireen Abu Akleh.”
The Israeli occupation forces assassinated Al-Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Aqleh on May 11, when she was covering the storming of the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
On May 13, Israeli security forces attacked Shireen’s funeral, beat her coffin bearers, and tried to prevent her from being buried in a mass procession to her final resting place in occupied Jerusalem.
In this context, Al Jazeera Media Network announced on Friday its decision to refer the file of the assassination of colleague Sherine Abu Aqleh to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
The network indicated in a statement that it had formed an international legal alliance that includes its legal team, along with international legal experts, and that it has started preparing a complete file on the case to be submitted to the court’s public prosecutor.
Director of Al Jazeera’s office in Palestine, Walid Al-Omari, confirmed that Al Jazeera is determined to achieve justice for colleague Shireen Abu Akleh.
During his intervention at a press conference held in London yesterday regarding the complaint submitted to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court last April regarding the systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists by the Israeli security forces, Al-Omari stressed that all data indicated that Shirin was killed by an Israeli sniper’s rifle. Deliberately shot.
In addition to the assassination of Abu Aqila, the legal file will also include the Israeli bombing of the Al-Jazeera office in Gaza and its complete destruction in May 2021, in addition to the repeated attacks on its journalistic elements working in the occupied Palestinian territories, and even incitement against them.
Al Jazeera network condemned the assassination of Shireen Abu Aqleh, with whom it worked for 25 years in covering the ongoing conflict in the occupied Palestinian territories, pledging to activate all possible paths so that those responsible for the crime are brought to the platforms of international justice, and their legal punishment is taken.
The right to freedom of expression
For her part, Irene Khan, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, said in an interview with Al Jazeera that Shireen Abu Aqleh was not the first journalist killed in Palestine.
Khan explained that 40 journalists were killed during the past years and no investigation was conducted into this, and called for an end to impunity for the killings of journalists.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the protection of freedom of opinion across the island also called for an independent international commission to investigate the facts in the Abu Akila case and what is happening in the Palestinian territories.
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wencesland, renewed the call for an independent and transparent investigation into the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh.
During his monthly briefing to the UN Security Council, Wencesland stressed that those responsible should be held accountable, and described the scenes of violence during Abu Aqila’s funeral as painful and humiliating.
In turn, the US delegate to the UN Security Council, Linda Thomas Greenfield, called for an immediate, comprehensive, transparent and impartial investigation into the assassination of colleague Shireen Abu Akleh.
Greenfield stressed that the United States expects full accountability for those found responsible.
The results of an investigation conducted by the Palestinian Public Prosecution, and its results were announced the day before yesterday, Thursday, revealed that Al-Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Aqleh was killed by an Israeli sniper’s bullets “without prior warning.”
Palestinian Attorney General Akram al-Khatib said in Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank that “a force of the Israeli occupation army had a clear and direct view of the location of the journalists’ presence in Jenin in the West Bank.”
He added, “The investigation proved that the bullet that killed journalist Sherine contained an armor-piercing iron fragment.”
He explained that “the cause of death was a laceration in the brain of Abu Aqila, which indicates that she was in an escape position.”